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Thursday, March 22, 2018

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Reuters) – Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson signed into law on Thursday a bill banning the most common abortion procedure employed in the second trimester of a pregnancy, among the most restrictive abortion legislation in the United States.

The law, which takes effect later this year, prohibits dilation and evacuation, a practice that pro-choice advocates say is the safest method of ending a pregnancy, but which supporters of the legislation call “barbaric,” requiring the “dismemberment” of the fetus.

Anti-abortion activists said the bill was their paramount objective in the current legislative session. With conservative Republicans controlling both chambers of the General Assembly, the bill faced little opposition.

Near identical laws have been adopted in Mississippi and Louisiana. Similar bans in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Alabama have faced legal challenges and have yet to be implemented, according to the Guttmacher Institute, which tracks abortion legislation.

Opponents of the Arkansas law vowed to fight it in the courts and predicted it would fail.

“The law puts an undue burden on a woman’s constitutional right to obtain a second-trimester abortion, and I think the legislature knows it and doesn’t care,” said Rita Sklar, an attorney for the Arkansas chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Hutchinson, a Republican, had said he believed the U.S. Supreme Court could uphold the law if given the opportunity. He said evolving medical standards of fetal viability could alter the traditional definition of trimester.

The Arkansas health department has said that dilation and extraction was used in 683 of the 3,771 abortions performed in Arkansas in 2015, the most recent year for which it has records.

(Editing by Brendan O’Brien and Hugh Lawson)

IMAGE: Governor Asa Hutchinson (R-AR) speaks at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 19, 2016. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

8 Responses to Arkansas Governor Signs Restrictive Abortion Law Banning Common Procedure

        • The rush is that they’ve been waiting and nursing their hate for years. The Social Conservatives have been ignored, even among Republicans, while their votes have been taken for granted.

          Reagan offered platitudes. Bush Sr. was not one of them. Bush Jr. generally ignored them, except for Terri Schiavo, and you saw how that turned out, after seeking their votes in 2004. Obama gave them nothing.

          Now it’s their turn. Bathroom Bills, tax dollars for faith based schools, and every abortion restriction a Judge can be made to accept.

  1. What’s with the Republican obsession over controlling other peoples’ vaginas?

    They supposedly believe in smaller government… this is bigger government.
    They supposedly believe in individual responsibility… this is taking individual responsibility away.
    They supposedly believe in “Religious Freedom”… this is the opposite.
    They supposedly believe in reducing abortions… this (and other policies) increase abortions.
    They supposedly are “Pro-Life”… This (and other policies) potentially kill the mother, and once the baby is forced to be carried to term, if the mother can’t support it their preferred policies suggest it should be allowed to die without social safety net assistance of any sort.

    Why does anyone vote for these Hypocrites?

    Fertility clinics kill tens of thousands of viable embryos…. where’s the outrage against them?
    Oh.. that’s right… wealthy white women need those………


    • There is talk about what can be done about the killings at the fertility clinics. I haven’t paid close attention to the issue, but it’s on the radar. We may yet see the Trumpistas come up with something.

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